By Mayor Chris Duncan
San Clemente has always prided itself on being a community of resilience, unity, and dynamism. This past year, however, our beautiful city has faced a barrage of challenges that have tested our collective resolve.
The year began with a jolt—a series of powerful storms and landslides that interrupted rail service. Homes were endangered, roads were blocked, and even our beloved historic Casa Romantica was put at risk.
In response, our incredible city staff sprang into action. We rolled up our sleeves to repair, rebuild, and ensure the safety and security of our fellow residents.
We faced another challenge with an unexpected council vacancy. Recognizing the need for unity, we appointed a respected public safety commissioner and former police officer, Rick Loeffler.
Our goal was, and remains, to ensure that our city’s leadership strives toward collaborative solutions to protect our excellent quality of life and away from partisan divides that hold us back.
As mayor, I am incredibly proud of our city’s response to these challenges. And we bounced back in a big way.
This year, San Clemente hosted renowned sporting events, including the Rip Curl World Surf League Finals and both the Professional Pickleball Association and Major League Pickleball Finals.
Two local residents, Filipe Toledo and Caroline Marks, became WSL champions, and San Clemente’s own Griffin Colapinto finished third in the world.
These events and our local talent showcased our city’s vibrancy and our capability to shine on the global stage.
There’s a simple yet powerful motto that resonates with every San Clemente resident: “One Town, One Team.”
Our future is bright, not because challenges won’t arise—they inevitably will—but because we’ve proven that when we set aside our differences and work together, there’s no hurdle, or aspiration, too high for San Clemente!
Chris Duncan is a councilmember who was elected in 2020 and is serving as city mayor for 2023.